The Trump administration’s ban on transgender military service personnel goes into effect today. Thousands of people serving their country must now hide who they are when serving or risk losing their jobs.
Known as Directive-type Memorandum-19-004 the law states that trans men and women are no longer allowed to enlist or serve in the American military.
The basket weave of rules for this ban are as follows (see graphics at left):
If you are serving and trans and do not live by the standards of your biological sex (unless you have been officially grandfathered in) you will be fired.
Any folks who identify as trans and refuse to live and dress as their biological sex can no longer enlist. That includes individuals who are currently transitioning or have transitioned in the past via hormones and/or surgery.
Only trans military employees who have already undergone treatment prior to today can continue to serve as they are, and only if their paperwork was processed in time.
This ban is set to expire one year from today. It is estimated that 13,700 people will lose their jobs.
This sweeping directive was first announced via Twitter by President Trump in late July 2017. That announcement prompted lawsuits; four will move forward even after the ban is put into place.
Last month a federal judge lifted a final injunction on the proposal allowing the directive to move forward, the federal government continues to say, “all persons will continue to be treated with dignity and respect.”
The Navy has issued guidance saying their employees will be allowed to live in their preferred gender when they are off-duty and only out of uniform.
“There is no policy that prohibits the ability of a Service Member to express themselves off-duty in their preferred gender,” the guidance says. “Appropriate civilian attire, as outlined in the uniform regulations, will not be determined based on gender.”
The American Medical Association (AMA) released a statement on Thursday saying that there is no medical reason to exclude trans individuals from service.
“With the Pentagon’s new ban on transgender individuals serving in the military going into effect on Friday, the AMA is troubled that the DoD characterizes the need to undergo gender transition as a ‘deficiency,'” they said. “The DOD regulation also instructs service secretaries to add gender-dysphoria to service-specific lists of ‘administratively disqualifying conditions’ that DoD regulations label ‘congenital or developmental defects.’
The only thing deficient is any medical science behind this decision. The AMA has said repeatedly that there is no medically valid reason — including a diagnosis of gender dysphoria– to exclude transgender individuals from military service. Transgender service members should, as is the case with all personnel, receive the medical care they need. There is a global medical consensus about the efficacy of transgender health care, including treatment for gender dysphoria.”
Locally, The San Diego LGBT Community Center (The Center) condemns the ban and released the following statement:
“No one should have to face threats to their job status, personal safety, health and well-being, simply for being transgender,” said Caroline (Cara) Dessert, Esq., Chief Executive Officer for The Center. “We remain resolute in our commitment to do all we can to overturn this inhumane and discriminatory ban. And, we wholeheartedly support our community members that have been, or will be, harmed by this misguided and prejudiced policy.
We see you, we stand with you, and we are here for you.”